Maybe you have stumbled upon this post accidentally while looking for the men’s rights facebook page, or while trying to get your head around male privilege (That’s why I put google food in the first paragraph on these things). In the worst case, you are here because you have been sent a link to this article, anonymously. That’s almost certainly because someone thinks you have a serious personality flaw.
Whatever the reason, buckle up and strap those saggy testicles to your leg because you’re about to get the lesson of a lifetime. And don’t worry, I’ll be talking to you on your own level: I’ll be mansplaining everything you need to know so you won’t have to take advice from those annoying bossy women.
Recently, I was lucky enough to be a guest host of the @iamscicomm twitter handle. This came with tremendous power…tremendous power and I thought that I would use this power to ask the question that you are too scared to ask:
Now, we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by the answers. So I have created a handy guide which will give you all the information you need. If in doubt print out this article and take it around with you as a quick reference guide.
You are on an organising committee because you are very important.
Look at you, you big successful hunk of burning man meat, you’ve made it onto a committee. How exciting! You get to make loads of decisions and talk loud at meetings – WAIT! Here comes the first bit of advice from twitter:
I know it’s tempting to fly all of your golf buddies over to give a talk, but this is where you need to use your power for good. Take a good hard, long look at the number of women and men in the room/ skype call – is it even close to the gender split in ABBA? Your first challenge will be to make it the committee like ABBA. Keep asking yourself the question and make changes until you can look at yourself in the urinal reflection and say “yes, the committee is like ABBA”.
Perhaps someone on the committee is being a massive pain in the arse about your new requirements for an equal representation of genders. The person may even say “you’ve changed” and it hurts your feelings. Stay strong, and don’t budge. You may not get invited to their next naked Man Kind retreat, but you’ll be able to sleep at night. Winning.
You are in a meeting
Meetings are a great place to dominate people and demand the admiration that your kids won’t give you. Luckily, you have a nice loud, boomy voice and you can talk over any meek individual with ease. But how about trying this for a change:
You’ll hear something that sounds like a voice but it won’t be coming from your mouth. That is the sound of someone else talking.
Have you ever wondered what other people are doing while you are talking? They are doing a thing called listening. Now it’s your turn. Try it, it’s fun.
Listening involves not making any mouth noise and using the things, that keep the glasses on your head, to absorb sound. The sound enters your head and if you listen to it close enough – it may form sentences that contain information that may be useful.
At some point, you’ll feel the need to interject with your own opinions and views. Push these urges down, way down, use your well-honed skills of oppression for this purpose. This is who you are now.
You are at a conference or networking event
How fun. A big meeting with loads of people that you can have unspoken power wars with. If you look a little closer, however, you’ll see that there are lots of different types of people there:
Even though it’s fun to find your doppelgangers and make jokes about football teams and cars, we need you to go and speak to other types of people. But don’t be scary or weird. Ask questions and, just like the previous tip, practice your listening skills.
Here’s the challenge: at the next conference you go to approach someone who you’d never normally talk to. Break out of the loud-laugh-man circle and go and ask them about their research. I bet that you’ll find out something new.
Oh no, someone wants mentoring
Because of your new found mission, you may find yourself with a few more female students that need mentoring.
You probably can’t remember what it is like to be at the bottom of the pile trying to make your voice heard, but it’s tough and it’s even tougher for women in STEM. Here’s your chance to build a philanthropic moment that you can brag about for years to come: you can help these promising young female scientists by using the power you have worked so hard to build to give them a voice.
And the biggest thing for your new mentoring relationship:
In other words, don’t be a massive dick head about feelings and shit. Remember – you have developed a really thick skin from years of combative peer-review others haven’t…yet!
You have now gained an interest supporting women in STEM
Check out whether your university or research institute has any women-in-STEM meetups.
I’ve asked the question for you and there’s nothing to be afraid of:
The last bit of advice from twitter:
So here is some further reading as recommended by the twitter, IAmScicomm, community:
- What can men do to stem the exodus of women from science?
- Ask us anything: how to be an ally
- Ally Skills Workshop